How to Become a Realtor in Ontario?

realtor in Ontario

How to be called a realtor in Ontario? Where to get started? What are the processes, and the fees? How to select the right market and brokerage as a realtor in the country? Got more such questions? Full detail and learning paths are given below, keep reading!

Benefits of a Career as a Realtor

1. Connect with People

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As a realtor, you help people make the biggest financial decision they can make – buying and selling a home, which can be a daunting task.

You help to solve and help them navigate this critical moment in their lives doing it successfully gives immense satisfaction and pride.

Many realtors in Ontario are involved in the management of property, development of land, giving loans, town planning, and real estate elevation.

You come across new people. New people as in people living different kinds of lives and having a long-lasting career besides the career plan

2. Independence

To give an example, for a realtor, A “day at the office” is not the same as a day at the office for a typical white-collar job.

Stay stress-free about the repetitive mundane 9-5 workday. Instead, every day feels like a new day for a realtor, with new varieties of challenges daily.

It gives a sense of independence where you can manage your schedule based on what you are accustomed to as well as the comfort of your clients.

3. Growth Opportunities

The fun part of being a realtor is that your growth is directly proportional to the amount of time you invest in searching, building, and grasping opportunities.

There is no limit in salary as commission-based earning potential depends on the effort you put in, not limited by the hourly wages. Top realtors earn upward of $140,000+.

As you divert yourself into laying out premium quality services to your clients as well as customers, you will come across different opportunities.

4. It’s Open to All

Many licensed realtors in Ontario have made a transition to real estate from banking, sales, hospitality, public services, medical, legal, retail, and more.

Whether you are a fresh applicant (with a Canadian secondary school diploma or higher) looking to enter the job market or if you are an experienced professional wanting to build a new career, this profession is open to all provided you meet the minimum requirements that are mentioned in the later parts below.

How is the Real Estate Industry Growth for a Realtor in Ontario? 

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There are currently more than 155,000+ licensed real estate salespersons, brokers, and agents working through 75 real estate boards and associations across Canada according to Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Specifically looking at the provincial level, according to Ontario Real Estate Association(OREA), there are 92000+ licensed realtors in Ontario spread across 34 real estate boards.

The fact that every year sales agents are beginning their fresh careers is a good sign. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many eager workers if there were no prospects and growth in the real estate industry.

Also according to CREA statistics for Ontario, active residential real estate listings showed an increase of 200.6% from the end of December 2021 to the end of December 2022 numbering 24,839 units on the market.

Is the Real Estate Profession Sustainable?

If you see the real estate activity and prices over the year, it has continued on an upward trajectory.

This has brought an unprecedented boom, leading many aspiring realtors to look at this profession as a lucrative career option. Most realtors have been pretty much successful as a result of a strong market.

Is a Real Estate Salesperson Different from Real Estate Broker? 

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In Canada, particularly to become a realtor in Ontario, you need to know the differences. A realtor broker or real estate broker is a licensed professional who has the authority to run their brokerage or manage a team of salespeople.

They are in charge of the day-to-day operations of the brokerage, including supervising and training salespeople and making sure that all the transactions are done in compliance with provincial regulations. They usually have more education and experience than a salesperson.

On the other hand, a realtor salesperson or real estate salesperson is a licensed professional who can represent clients in buying and selling properties.

They usually work under the guidance of a broker and aren’t authorized to operate their brokerage. They help clients find properties that suit their needs and assist them in the negotiation and finalization of real estate transactions.

In short, a realtor as a broker has more experience, education, and responsibility, and can manage a team and own a brokerage.

A realtor as a salesperson is more like an agent who works under the guidance of a broker and helps clients buy and sell properties.

They both have a separate learning path and required courses that will be explained below.

What are OREA, CREA, RECO, MLS, and Local Boards?


The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is a major trade association for the real estate industry in Canada.

Its membership comprises over 100,000 real estate professionals, including brokers, agents, and salespeople, who are affiliated with 100 real estate boards and associations throughout the country. CREA serves as the national voice of the real estate industry.


The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) represents the 92,000 realtors in Ontario salespeople members and brokers across Ontario’s 34 real estate boards.

It lays down different services for the members, such as publications, educational programs, and special services.


The Real Estate Council of Ontario(RECO) is the regulatory body that oversees real estate salespersons, brokers, and real estate brokerage by enforcing rules and by-laws to protect the public interest.

It mandates consumer protection on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

4. MLS

Professionals working in real states utilize information called Multiple Listing Services (MLS) to share and use information related to properties related to sales or any recently sold in and around the area.

It enables agents and brokers to list properties and share the information with their peers, thus facilitating collaboration among them to best serve their clients

5. Local Boards

Local refers in real estate in Ontario refer to the various organizations that operate within the province and are responsible for overseeing and regulating the activities of realtors in Ontario and brokers in specific geographic regions.

These boards typically offer services such as education and training, professional development opportunities, and access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) systems.

Examples of these local boards include the Toronto Real Estate Board, the Ottawa Real Estate Board, and the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors.

How to Become a Realtor in Ontario as a Certified Salesperson? 

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To get started, one needs to apply for the licensing process by meeting the basic eligibility requirements.

Step 1 — Pre-registration Phase

In Ontario, one needs to complete mandatory courses and examinations offered by Humber College on behalf of the Real Estate Council of Ontario(RECO).

Humber College offers a learning path for professional training, courses in the Real Estate Salesperson Program, and more.

The admission requirements to apply for the Real Estate Sales Program course are-

  • Applicants must have a Canadian secondary school course diploma, Ontario Secondary School Diploma, etc. In case they are not available, applicants can provide acceptable equivalency credentials or give a Salesperson Admissions Exam. On passing this exam, you can apply for enrollment in courses offered.
  • The entire Real Estate Salesperson Program will be offered in English. One needs to have a good command of different English language skills.
  • Applicants are supposed to use their full legal names as required by RECO when applying.
  • A $75 fee will be charged. It is nonrefundable
  • On successful enrollment, a grace period of 24 months is given to complete 5 courses, 2 simulation sessions to make new registrants practice ready, and 4 exams. Courses are-
  1. Real Estate Essentials
  2. Residential Real Estate Transactions
  3. Additional Residential Real Estate Transactions
  4. Commercial Real Estate Transactions
  5. Getting Started

You must successfully pass the course you are taking in order before moving to the next course.

Simulation programs allow one to put theoretical knowledge to practical use. Simulation sessions do this by simulating real-life scenarios, guided by an expert. The simulation sessions are-

  • Residential Real Estate Transactions is the first stimulation session
  • Commercial Real Estate Transactions in the second stimulation session

One can finish these courses sooner than the given grace period. Some realtors claim to have completed it from start to finish in about 4-5 months!

The total pre-registration fees will cost up to $4,110 excluding the application fee.

If for any medical reasons you require modifications to your program, you can contact Humber College directly and inform them.

RECO also is committed to accommodating people with disabilities and provides extension time to meet the articling educational requirements if needed.

You are entitled to utilize the benefit of this if you are disabled according to Ontario Human Rights Code.

Step 2 — Registration Phase

Registration process
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After completing the first step, you can now register as a registered realtor in Ontario as a salesperson with the Real Estate Council of Ontario(RECO) by going to MyWeb.

This will require you to enter your legal details and submit documents to RECO such as Original level 2, Canadian Criminal Record & Judicial Matters Checks (CRJMC).

Note– You have one year period to complete your registrations with RECO after completion of, pre-registration phase courses and examinations. Otherwise, you will be obligated to retake the entire program. Check out this FAQ for more details.

Next, you need to purchase mandatory insurance coverage under RECO which will cost a total of $500. The rest of the real estate license fees for registering as a salesperson will cost $590.

Later, $44 will be charged every year for Mandatory Continuing Education(MCE). There is good news for fresh applicants, as RECO is reducing their fees effective from March 2023 onwards.

Registration with RECO needs to be renewed every two years. Reminders will be sent to you periodically before your expiry of registration.

Can you Trade in Territory Trade in Ontario if you are a Registered/Licence Salesperson or Broker of another Canadian Province?

Luckily, yes! One needs to write the Interprovincial Challenge Examination in Ontario which allows qualified individuals to apply for registration with the Real Estate Council of Ontario(RECO) under the Ontario Labour Mobility Act.

Individuals from these qualifying Canadian provinces and territories can apply for the Interprovincial Challenge Examination-

  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Yukon
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
Political Map of Canada
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What is on the Interprovincial Challenge Examination?

The Interprovincial Challenge Examination will assess you on the knowledge and competencies that may be Ontario-specific: Ontario laws, real property law, residential real estate transactions, commercial real estate transactions in Ontario, and the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002(REBBA 2002) as mandated by the Ontario government.

Specifically, the knowledge areas covered in the exam are:

  • Understanding REBBA, the Code of Ethics, Agency Relationships and Representation
  • Key Legislation and Regulations: Residential and Commercial – Fraud, Privacy, and Anti-Spam Legislation
  • REBBA and Key Legislation: Residential and Commercial – Property Legislation, Conditions, Rights, and Limitations
  • REBBA, Code of Ethics, and Key Legislation and Regulations – Residential and Commercial Condominiums
  • REBBA, Code of Ethics, and Key Legislation and Regulations: Residential & Commercial Leasing
  • REBBA, Code of Ethics, and Other Relevant Legislation

Scheduling an Appointment to Write the Interprovincial Examination

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Humber College provides the Interprovincial Examination through online mode. The examination is of 3 hours and the registration fee is $115. Go to the Humber College website to register.

  • The exam consists of 115 questions
  • The questions are multiple-choice (having four options) with one correct response
  • You must achieve a minimum score of 75 to pass the exam
  • In case of failure, one can re-register and unlimited re-writes are possible until successfully passing the exam. You need to pay the fee for registration each time you re-register.

After registering, there are resources available for you, and you can access preparatory courses in PDF format through Learner Management System(LMS).

It is recommended to plan a two to three-week preparatory/study schedule to go through these resources.

Then, you need to book a slot for the examination date depending on availability.

After passing the Interprovincial Examination, now you can skip step 1 and proceed to the registration phase as given in step 2.

Picking a Brokerage Firm

The area in which you live might serve as a great starting point to find local real estate brokerages to interview, only if you are worried about the brokerage going along with you while you will be completing the entire course. In Greater Toronto Area, there are small independent brokerages to huge multinational corporations with franchises spread all over the globe.

Look for real estate brokerages on the RECO’s website, specifically those near you. Also, Course 5 during the Pre-Registration Phase of the program teaches learners how to launch their careers, including how to get and keep registration and insurance, and how to choose a brokerage for employment.

Each brokerage has its unique workings, with different support services and marketing approaches. All of their hire and employ licensed realtors and charge some fees. You need to have a cushion of $2-4k set aside for such fees as franchise fees, desk fees, brokerage fees, and so on.

Step 3 — Post-registration Phase

This is phase 3 of the Real Estate Salesperson Program. This phase is not the only one, but rather a part of the Real Estate Salesperson Program.

All learners who have completed steps 1 and 2 and have registered as realtors with RECO are eligible to proceed to this phase.

You have to complete this post-registration before the end of your two-year term of registration cycle with RECO.

In this, you have to complete a compulsory course and one plus one electives offered by Humber College.

It takes about 12 hours worth of online videos and assessments and it will cost you a minimum of $655.

  • Mandatory Compliance Course – You will be provided with a thorough review of how REBBA regulations and compliance impact your career as a registered licensed realtor in Ontario. The course guidelines will include all compliance requirements during all stages of trade. You will be taught how non-compliance and complaints are addressed by RECO and how to maintain your registration under REBBA
  • Elective Courses – You have to pick up any two elective courses out of the following five-
    1. Working in Real Estate: Rural, Recreational, Waterfront Properties
    2. Working in Real Estate: Ownership Alternatives and Complexities
    3. Real Estate as an Investment Strategy: Residential Properties
    4. Real Estate as an Investment Strategy: Commercial Properties Fundamentals
    5. Real Estate as an Investment Strategy: Commercial Properties Advanced

Now, say you have experience being a sales agent, and what if you want to go ahead in your career? Become a broker! There is a Real Estate Broker Program offered by the same Humber College that you can enroll in. More details are given below.

Necessities to Become a Real Estate Broker in Ontario

Before registering for the Broker Qualifying Exam, go through all the admission requirements.

1. General Requirements, Fees, and Eligibility

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The program materials and resources are provided in English, so you must possess proficient language skills in reading, writing, and speaking English to be successful in the program.

When qualifying for the program, remember to use your full official name, as per the RECO in terms of registration as a broker.

To get started, you need to clear the Broker Qualifying Exam. The exam tests your working knowledge related to specific areas of trading real estate in Ontario.

The Real Estate Broker Program has been designed in such a manner that you pay for every component of the program as you go to the higher level, instead of going for the entire program fee at once. The overall cost of the Real Estate Broker Program is $1,810.

To make the end of the program worthwhile, you need to register with RECO as a broker.

For more information about all the requirements, visit the RECO website. You have to first complete the program if you are only interested in starting a career in real estate and not in registering as a real estate salesperson in the country.

2. Applying for the Program

Step 1 — Broker Qualifying Exam

Before coming to this step, ensure you have completed the real estate salesperson program, and registered with RECO as a real estate salesperson member for at least 24 months.

To get started, you must first complete the Broker Qualifying Exam. The exam aims to test your working knowledge in different areas of trading in the country.

This exam’s duration is 3 hours long and will test your knowledge of the key areas that a practicing real estate salesperson should be aware of in Ontario, Canada.

Step 2 — E-learning Courses

On completing the first step, you can now register and begin with the first course of the program.

To complete the program, you must follow the sequential order and complete the courses, wrap-up sessions, and exams as outlined.

You have a grace period of 12 months, starting from the date you passed your broker qualifying exam, to finish the program, including up to 4 weeks for each course.

Step 3 — Registering With Reco

After completing the program and registering as a salesperson for a maximum of 24 to 35 months before the application for registering with the Read Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

As soon as you meet the above criteria, you can go for changing the registration category from salesperson to broker. You can do this by filling out the form for a new salesperson or broker. The form is available any time in between the registration cycle.

The Footnote

Whether you are looking to be a licensed registered realtor in Ontario or a registered licensed broker in Ontario, you need to mandatorily follow a learning path by taking an online real estate course outlined by Humber College on behalf of RECO.

After you have completed your real estate course and passed the required exams, you can register as a licensed real estate salesperson with RECO.

You have to go through the renewal process of registration every two years to keep yourself updated through the Mandatory Continuing Education courses.

After 24 months as a registered salesperson, you can apply for the broker program. On completing the broker program, you can register as a broker with RECO.

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